Greetings fellow travelers! We are Giorgio and Martina from Italy. Thanks for reading our review of the Pondoro Game Lodge in South Africa. We met in high school while taking art classes together. Later, we studied architecture in Milan but soon realized that we didn’t like that profession as we thought.
In 2013, we decided to leave everything and take a year off to travel and launch a YouTube channel. Our goal was to show people the world in an immediate and useful way, so they could easily choose whether or not an experience or place would be right for them. That “year” never ended and we have been traveling the world ever since dedicating our lives to travel.
South Africa was a country high on our lists. We wanted to see the wildlife that we watched on various documentaries. After our first time in the country, back in 2018, we literally fell in love with safari experiences. Our recent trip to Pondoro Game Lodge was actually our forth journey to South Africa so far. This trip was all about Kruger National Park and searching for Casper the White Lion – one of the rarest wild lions in the world.
The sighting of Casper was satisfying and it took four days. Then we headed to Pondo for seven days. We organized our trip with Everseen Africa. This travel design company is run by Charlie (South African) and Serena (Italian). They have knowledge of the different places in Africa and enjoy relationships with select lodges – Pondoro being one of the best in their portfolio. They wanted us to come and so we organized our stay with them.
Six Nights at Pondoro Game Lodge
We stayed at Pondoro for six nights. We immediately noticed how the lodge was well placed next to the Olifants River. Talking with the owner, he confirmed to us that they built the game lodge with the utmost care for nature in mind. The main building there even looks like a treehouse!
Most of our nights were spent in the water suite that has a real waterfall behind the bed, and we could see other suites from our accommodation as well. Each suite has its own theme and they all looked amazing. We especially appreciated the little jacuzzi on the terrace that overlooked the river. The animals often went drinking and bathing in this body of water.
As Italians we are pretty demanding when it comes to food and Pondoro surprised us with its quality and the variety of dishes they prepared during our stay. Every breakfast, lunch and dinner is a gourmet experience. Even Martina, being celiac with gluten-free needs, could eat extremely well!
The only negative was that we couldn’t stop eating because it was delicious and we gained weight. There are also special dinners in the wine cellar or on the riverbed with traditional music and dances performed by the lodge staff. These experiences add personality to an already great menu.
Wildlife Experiences at Pondoro
The rangers that took us on safaris at Pondoro were really experienced and thanks to them we had incredible sightings. A leopard on a termite mound less than five meters from us, 16 lions coming together and surrounding our vehicle while moving in search of food and – maybe less romantic but super funny – two rhinos scratching their butts on a fallen tree.
These are just a few of the epic moments that we lived and, especially after experiencing the Kruger self-drive, we appreciated how close we could get to these animals. And we’re not talking about just physical distance: we followed them for multiple days, observing them in different moments of their life, interacting with each other and showing us many behaviors.
Pondoro Game Lodge Review: 9/10
Everseen Africa told us a few things about Pondoro before we arrived – so we expected a good experience but the beauty of the place, the friendly staff, the delicious food and the amazing safari experiences combined together to surprise us. It was one of the best journeys we have ever done. If we had to review or rate it, we would give Pondoro a 9/10 only because maybe if we come back something even better will happen!
Best Memory from this Safari Lodge
For us the night we spent in the hide was special. It made us feel like Tarzan and Jane living in the savannah. The hide is a little treehouse located a few kilometers from the lodge with no electricity nor running water, just a bed and a few vintage pieces of furniture. What is so special about this, you may ask? Being alone in a treehouse, surrounded by nature and sleeping with the sounds of animals, left us in a complete lullaby.
Tips for Pondoro Game Lodge
We always advise to bring a heavy jacket for South Africa journeys because game drives can get chilly, since they are done at sunrise and sunset. But for Pondoro Game Lodge there isn’t any other advice we would give. They will take care of everything and all you have to do is enjoy the experience.